Suggested Reading: "Why creationists can’t be scientists"


There is an excellent article on Salon that I've been trying to comment on for about 20 minutes. Sadly they've chosen to use Livefyre for comments so all I've done is battle with error messages. Regardless it is well worth a read. It begins with "Creationism is far from harmless -- it's a real threat to scientific inquiry" and continues to examine the anti-science and political ideology that underlie the Creationist movement:
"Ken Ham argues in “Questioning Darwin” that to accept evolution is to abandon absolutes, which will bring a host of sins upon the world, (one wonders how war, rape and murder existed before Darwin). What should make us terrified of the creationist movement is this political mobilization. The movement is deeply intertwined with right-wing fundamentalism. Among the terrors Ham worries about are abortion and gay marriage.  Across the country creationism has tried toforce itself into science curriculums, with political maneuvering and outright lies. But Saletan glosses over this concern, mentioning only briefly that seeing creationism as harmless “doesn’t mean we should teach creationism in schools or pretend it’s a scientific theory.” I agree we shouldn’t, but the creationist movement is trying to do exactly that."

Read the rest here.

Of course the article, though informative, misses some key points including, perhaps, the most important.

The fundamental problem with Creationist "Science" is that they must reject any scientific findings which contradicts the Bible. In other words where research comes into conflict with the Bible the new findings must be rejected (based on whatever whimsy they come up with.)

That exception makes it not science by definition. Science has no 'sacred texts'. There are long standing theories but any or all of them (including evolution) can be tossed aside based on new evidence. There is nothing in science that can't be disproven if sufficient evidence emerges.

Meanwhile, the Bible, the foundation for creationism is based on no evidence at all. There is little to no evidence that anything in the Bible is even historically accurate, much less scientifically accurate. Some of the people and places definitely existed but there is no evidence for a "great flood" in the recent past, no evidence that there ever was a Jesus, no evidence that Exodus happened etc.,

So creationism, as science, depends on the unquestioning acceptance of a non-scientific book that appears to be entirely fictional. It is not very different from saying that "scientific findings can only be true and accurate if they don't contradict Shakespeare".

One final note on something that has already come up in the Slate comments is that "Newton, Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Pasteur, and Von Braun were just a few of the many great scientists who were creationists." They were not. They were Christian because they were raised in a society where everyone was Christian. They believed the Bible because they did not have contradictory evidence. However, in order to say they were Creationists they would have to be alive today, they would have to be presented with both the scientific and theological evidence and make up their minds based on that information.

Saying that they were 'creationists' is like saying that someone who lived a thousand years ago agreed with you that the Earth is the center of the universe. We cannot assume that because they were ignorant of modern science, they were also stupid.
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